Double Helix is a new genetic literary hybrid. Using the structure of DNA (which has its own language using paired molecules) as a model, Stephen Cain and Jay MillAr’s new book employs a sequence of speak and respond pieces to read and write their way through the alphabet and discuss everything from literature to the weather.
Living in different cities for a year, the two authors kept their ongoing conversations about poetics, relationships, and culture in the early 21st century alive by writing a collaborative project over email, based on a simple alphabetic constraint.
The result is Double Helix, a series of 52 micro-fictions, in which each writer meditates on a word beginning with a set letter of the alphabet. Molecular strands of concepts, arguments, and narratives twist about each other, yet also match, much like the double helix of human DNA. The final text mixes two lives, two writing styles, and two consciousnesses, that come to resemble a third mind— an act of literary meme-splicing.